A riveting, sharply observed and thoroughly modern police procedural featuring a stellar but unlikely female dectective team, perfect for fans of Tess Gerritsen and Deborah Crombie.
Detective Constable Janet Scott is subtle and reliable, a diplomatic thinker with a wry sense of humor. She’s put in the time and seen it all, but has no desire for the boss’s job - she loves her own too much. Rachel Bailey couldn’t be more different - she’s energetic, impulsive, and ambitious, and has just been transferred to the Manchester murder squad. Their commander thinks Rachel’s intuition could make her a great cop, but has reservations about her shoot-first-think-later approach, so she partners her with Janet. At first, the match seems to have been made somewhere considerably lower than heaven, but when a teenage girl is found brutally murdered, stabbed to death in her squalid flat on a North Manchester housing estate, both detectives realize they must work together to stop a vicious killer. But the case quickly becomes more complicated than it seems, fraught with dangers neither woman could see coming. Eager to make her mark, Rachel’s reckless pursuit of the truth could threaten her future on the squad. And an unexpected turn in the investigation forces Janet to face personal demons. No matter the cost, both must race to stop a vicious killer before it’s too late in this riveting novel from award-winning author Cath Staincliffe.
©2012 concept and text Transworld Publishers; characters copyright Red Production Company (P)2012 Random House AudioGo
"It's always exciting to see a writer get better and better, and Cath Staincliffe is doing just that." (Val McDermid)
I do hope that this is the first in a series! The narration is excellent. Three compelling women are the main characters ... All are very human...they have flaws, problems and troubles from their pasts - but they are strong, effective detectives. The story line is good, but the strength of this book is the tightly woven way that the author reveals who these women are and their back stories. I want to meet them again and see how their lives unfold, so..... More please.
I haven't been so annoyed by a main character for a long time. This is my first Scott and Bailey novel, and it will probably be my only one. Rachael Bailey is basically a bitch, undercutting investigations to soothe her own ego, going off on her own and causing problems, and stirring up trouble on the squad whenever she can. I don't know why Scott comes to respect her by the end of the book. I realize this is a "prequel" to an existing series, but I would have booted Bailey off the squad long before it made its way to television. I only kept listening because I found the murder interesting and wanted to know who committed the crime.
The story is told from three view points: Scott, Bailey, and their commander. Part of the time, we are solidly into each characters POV, with internal dialogue making up much of the text. Then, boom, we seem to be in a narrator's POV. Much of the book is made of long, boring suspect interviews that read like a script rather than a story. Every bit of back story about the main characters is thrown at the listener at one time, though often without a good reason. Bailey's obsession with her background and family is tiring. After the third or fourth time hearing about it, it gets very old. It makes me wonder if the book is based on a TV script or unused story treatments for the TV show.
The narrator is so wrong for this book. Her high, at times breathy voice, is more appropriate for a book about young girls, not strong adult women. Her reading of the commander (I have forgotten her name) is especially jarring. Many of her male secondary characters sound alike. This may be partly due to a Manchester accent but it didn't help during the long interviews.
I was drawn to listen after enjoying the television series. I wasn't disappointed. The story is well-crafted and I found the narrator to be a delight. I'm sorry that there aren't more to choose from in this series...at least not in the U.S. (yet). I hope to hear more from both this author (and narrator) in the near future.
She is wonderfully with the various characters...she truly brings the story to life with memorable accents, intonations, and expression. I really think the narration helps make this book the wonderful "read" that it is.
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